Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Good News Mixed With Scary News

Read the story here.

Basically this South African woman, arrested in Texas ten days ago, may turn out to be a high-level al-Qaeda operative.  The story raises a number of interesting issues.

1.  Mad props to the unnamed security personnel who spotted the irregularities in her paperwork and had the good sense to investigate further.  We'll never really know the impact of their actions.  It could mean nothing - it is possible that there is a plot currently in the works that will go through even without here.  It could mean a lot - maybe we directly thwarted something, or maybe they'll get her to reveal whatever project is was she was working on.  Hopefully it's the latter.  But in any case, I'm glad these people were doing their jobs. 

2.  On the other side of that same coin:

"It was revealed in court Tuesday that she was on a watch list and had entered the U.S. possibly as many as 250 times."

WHAT!?!  A high-level al-Qaeda operative, who was on a government watch list, made a solemn mockery of our borders as many as 250 times?  I almost think it was inevitable she would get caught.  One can only play Russian Roulette so long, you know.  What on earth is wrong with our security that we didn't get her until the 251st visit?  I'm going to be sick.

3.  Our borders are clearly too porous.  This is a standard conservative argument, and the standard liberal argument is either, "you're an anti-Latino racist!" or "al-Qaeda isn't trying to get into America through Mexico!"  Bull crap they aren't, we just caught one.  And of course most of the illegals coming into America through Mexico are Latinos.  That goes without saying.  I am relatively unconcerned about them.  But I am incredibly concerned about Ms. Farida Goolam Mohamed Ahmed, and if porous borders let her and her ilk in with ease, then I don't care if, by tightening our borders, things get a little tougher on illegal by non-terrorist Latinos. 

4.  Many conservatives who favor racial profiling (examples include Michelle Malkin, Anne Coulter and Neal Boortz) scoff at the idea of shaking down old ladies at airport security while Hassan, Muhammad and Sa'id get no more than a passing glance.  I suspect that Farida the South African would have eluded Malkin, Coulter and Boortz without too much trouble. 

This is not an argument against racial profiling, it is an argument that security measures need to be ramped up across the board.